Hosting A Fire Drill In The Workplace
Fire drills are an essential part of workplace fire safety measures. Workplaces should use them alongside measures such as fire doors and alarms to ensure ultimate safety in case of emergency. Sometimes, fire drills are viewed as an inconvenience to the workday, but we should never underestimate their importance.
Workforces should be informed about the importance of fire drills and their legal duty to take part. When an emergency happens in the workplace, lives are on the line. With routine, effective fire drills, the risk to life in an emergency can be hugely decreased.
What Is A Fire Drill?
It is the practice of an emergency evacuation plan. A fire drill recreates the process that would occur in a fire or another similar emergency. It involves manually setting off the fire alarm and evacuating the building following the planned procedure.
Why Are Fire Drills So Important?
It is the law to have fire drills in the workplace. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states that the person responsible for the fire safety of a building must provide procedures, including fire drills.
If people in a building don’t know what to do in the event of an emergency, lives can be at risk. Having regular fire drills informs staff of the evacuation procedure and ensures the plan works. When people know what to do in a fire, they are less likely to panic and can evacuate quicker and safer. As we all know, practice often makes perfect.
Fire drills test that fire alarms are working correctly and that everybody in the building can hear them. Workplaces should have a weekly fire alarm test on top of an annual fire drill to ensure alarms are working. Drills also test that fire exits are accessible, and people most at risk have easy access to evacuate.
Who Is Responsible For Fire Drills?
All commercial buildings have a responsible person; this is the landlord, employer, or occupant. Suppose there is more than one responsible person. In that case, they need to work together to ensure all safety precautions are taken. The responsible person/people are in charge of all fire safety measures, including fire drills.
Preparing For A Fire Drill
You need to ensure all employees in the building are aware the fire drill will occur; this avoids panic. If you have a large business, nominate safety wardens, they need to look out for any potential problems with the process. If any visitors are present, let them know about the drill too. Make sure your print off a register with all the names of everybody in the building.
What To Do During a Fire Drill
Keep an eye out for inappropriate behaviour, such as people ignoring the drill or stopping to collect belongings. Observe people at additional risk, such as people with disabilities; lookout for how easy it is for them to leave the building. Also, look out for faulty fire doors or exits being blocked. Complete the register, ticking off everybody who is outside of the building.
Fire Drill Completed; Now What?
Note how it went and any problems that occurred along the way. Any issues with the emergency evacuation plan need to be added to your risk assessment and resolved. If you find that any safety measures need to be added, or repaired, get in touch with a reputable company to get this sorted.
How to Maintain Other Fire Safety Measures
Fire Door Maintenance
To ensure the fire doors in your workplace are in good working order, you should consider fire door maintenance. This is a complete detailed survey of your fire doors, presented in a detailed photographic report. This report enables your fire doors to meet The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. You will receive information about which doors need repairing, and then these repairs will take place to meet regulations.
Fire Extinguisher Inspections
Legally, all fire extinguishers need to be inspected by a professional annually. Fire extinguishers can successfully control fires, so ensuring they are in working order is vital for safety. As well as the annual inspection, you should regularly check fire extinguishers, making sure they haven’t been damaged and are easily accessible.
To receive further advice about hosting fire drills, or to enquire about fire door maintenance, contact us at London Fire Solutions. We are a UK market leader in passive fire protection; we have the experience and skills to keep your workplace safe.